Hidden Art

In 2020, Michael and I had the amazing opportunity to spend 8 weeks in Italy, with the entire month of September in Rome. While we were there, our friends, David and Lyn, came to visit and spent a week with us. You can read more about our Italian in THIS and surrounding posts.

On our first day out, we headed to the Pantheon which was only a 10-minute walk from our apartment…if you didn’t get lost!! We had gone this way many times, quickly walking past a small church without thinking about it. Well, David had done his research before the trip and told us that there was a Michelangelo sculpture in this small, nondescript church….who knew!!!

As expected, the sculpture was amazing but NOT the subject of this “Almost” Wordless Wednesday.

Instead, I found a lovely Madonna and Child statue in one of the corners and snapped a bunch of shots. In particular, I love how the light hits and highlights the beads…..

I love when this photo surfaces on my desktop. It is a sweet reminder of an amazing trip, super friends and the peacefulness of a small church in Rome!!

Dynamic Yunnan

On one of our trips to China, we were in the city of Kunming for my birthday and I decided that I wanted to go to a Chinese Cultural Event. Our friend Jialin suggested that we go to see “Dynamic Yunnan”…..a fusion of traditional ethnic folk music and modern dance.

The program was made up of 6 chapters, each with a theme and a wonderfully choreographed dance. Each of the dances had a particular element of sound or visual interest that managed to capture our imaginations. The performers were from the Yunnan ethnic minorities and the costumes were authentic for the area.

Officially, there was no photography allowed, but throughout the show, we could see flashes from cameras and hear the whirring of video cameras. So, sometime around the 2nd chapter, I pulled out my I-phone and started taking photos as well.

This is my favorite photo of the evening…..

Before the dance started, a fair amount of “snow” had already fallen on the stage and when they started whipping the scarves around, it picked up the snow and made it swirl!!!

I know that this photo is out focus and fuzzy, but when I see it, I immediately think of a Blizzard!!!

If you would like to read more about the program, please use this LINK to get to that blog post.

Peacock Pavilion

The next quilt in my “Travel Log Quilt Series” is one of my favorites and there are several reasons for that….. firstly, it came from a trip to India which is one of our FAVORITE places to visit. Secondly, it is a peacock and I have a major crush on peacocks, and thirdly, it was the first time I had made a collage style quilt.

Story First

In 2008 Michael and I first visited India. We were only there for 10 days but quickly came to love the people that we met and the places that we visited!! We spent most of the time in the city of Bangalore, but for 3 days Michael and I were escorted to the state of Tamil Nadu, visiting the Mudumalai National Park. As we were traveling back to Bangalore, our host suggested that we stop at the Mysore Palace and, as usual, we were game for anything!!

The palace was gorgeous…..

Mysore Palace

….and we were so excited about seeing inside, but there was a problem…… a BIG problem for me…..

And they were serious about no photos….they wouldn’t even let us take cameras inside the palace. We had to check them at the door!!

The palace itself is gorgeous, as you can see from these photos that I found online…..

….but the most beautiful part was a great hall that had the most amazing stained glass dome with PEACOCKS!! I stood looking at the amazing windows and couldn’t stop thinking about the quilt that I wanted to make. I even ventured the thought that I would surreptitiously take a photo with my phone but the sight of a guard holding a machine gun quickly quelled that idea!

Instead I made a quick sketch….

…. and figured that I could find photos online when I got home. I WAS WRONG!!!

I searched and searched and the best photo that I could find was this one…..

Between it and my “drawing”, I was able to come up with the basic design….

Time for the quilt….

Now I had to figure out what fabrics to use and, at that time, I didn’t have a bunch of solids in my stash. I was super excited to visit my local quilt shop and find these gradation fabrics from Caryl Bryer Fallert…..

….and even better to find out that they were on SALE!!!!

I made an idea board with photos of peacocks…..

….and started playing!!

Unfortunately, I don’t have step by step photos of the process but I did have a wonderful time placing the fabrics and then machine stitching over them with beautiful threads. After I had finished with the design I then added the bias tape “leading”.

The final step was to add lots of quilting and the back really shows the designs…..

I used a monofilament thread in the bobbin and was pleased with the result…..

I love the final quilt…..

….and it is an incredible reminder of a fun trip!!